#DryJuly – #EnglishRosiee’s Experience of Dating Without The Booze

Wine

Ugh, So I decided to take yet another break from booze recently. #DryJuly wasn’t really in response to an overindulgent party season that had been the motivation behind previous sober stints. It was basically because I got FAT. Not phat but like FAT FAT as in bordering on morbidly obese. This was as a result of an injury that occurred during my trip to Love Island (it was a badly twisted ankle – so get your mind out of the gutter) which meant I couldn’t exercise like a beast teamed with the fact that I live less than 100 metres from McDonald’s. Anyway, I decided alcohol was the easiest thing to cut out (shoot me, but I’d choose chocolate and ice cream anyday!), Anyway, earlier this year when I returned to the RS of A after my exile in Blighty when I also took a leave of absence from men, this time around I decided to remain in the dating game (god help me!). It really was easier said than done.

#zlotybaby and I have had many conversations/written many blog post’s about society’s obsession with booze in a social settings. We’ve both read Catherine Gray’s bestseller – The Joy of Being Sober and not fully agreed with how she paints a picture of sober life as all hearts, flowers, glitter and unicorns.

When There Is Chemistry…

Have you ever noticed that there are certain people you have chemistry/banter with even before you meet for the date? These are usually the ones which involve butterflies, big moves and good stories for the debrief with your besties the next day.

If you think about it carefully, the banter, the chemistry and butterflies were always there before you took the first sip of wine. So yup, if your date has the right skills 😉 (and attitude) alcohol in itself really doesn’t really add any value.

But When There Is Nothing Booze Only Takes The Edge Off,,,

On the flipside, when you’ve landed yourself a low-value encounter that is basically dull booze helps make it a bit more bearable. By ‘low-value’ I don’t just mean someone you don’t click with romantically but can have at least hold a pleasant conversation, or even someone you can have a heated debate with (oh that reminds of the one time I threw precious pink gin on a racist date) but just someone who is simply dull or doesn’t seem to have any interests or passions. In such circumstances, booze is your friend and helps you get through the encounter without stabbing yourself in the head.

Remember There Are Still Situations Where Even Booze Can’t Help

I’m going off on a bit of tangent right now. But I just wanted to make the point there are some situations that are so awkward or intolerable that even booze can’t help.

The example that pops to mind was my date with the ‘serial killer’, a guy who had greasy hair and probably hadn’t seen the light of day for a few years and basically launched straight into the date by telling me how his wife has left him by emptying out the apartment and leaving him with nothing but the cat. (Can’t say I blame her) I faked an emergency, left a half drunk Savannah and ran for the hills.

Some People’s Attitude Towards Booze Is Just Downright Frightening

People like to make a big deal of it when they notice you aren’t drinking – calling you a wuss, asking if you are knocked up (immaculate conception much?) or telling you to just stick to neat vodka because the calories are always in the mixers. Whatever your legit reason for giving up or taking a break from booze, there are people who’ll have something to say about it.

So, the one such noteworthy incident. I was out with a guy who I’d hung out with before, and as soon as I mentioned I wasn’t drinking I noticed a slight change, nothing major so I carried on drinking my sparkling water.  When we broached the topic of whether drinking was a necessary part of dating his response was ‘well it’s not a big deal for the guys not to drink, but its good to ply the lady with a drink or two so she loses her inhibitions’. Eww. Screams #metoo vibes to me.

And the worst thing about the whole episode. On a good day, even me with my low alcohol tolerance, I’d drink this geezer under the table. Inhibitions. Haha. He’d probably be getting his stomach pumped while I was busy drunkenly smashing McDs into my face (now do you see how I get FAT so easily!)

Booze Allows You To Tolerate More BS Than You Should. Without It You Desire To Date Half-Heartedly Diminishes.

So, I’ve never been one to sit at home and complain about Tinder, while having never ever been on a date. I don’t believe you can ever say you’ve been unlucky in love when actually you are just lazy AF. I’ve always had this attitude that dating is a numbers games so you have to put yourself out there, if you ever hope to get lucky.

However, sometimes it’s hard. I’ve always motivated myself with booze. There are plenty of better things I can do with my life than go out of a random date which may or may not have a positive outcome. There is enough in my life that guarantees me a good time (and probably a lot less frustration) – running, gyming, bitching and moaning with my friends. So, I’ve often used alcohol as an incentive to go on dates (sometimes even to wine estates) with guys I wasn’t 100% into. I was basically telling myself that at least I’d be rewarded with a glass of wine and maybe something more, but I didn’t then that was OK because I’d have my old friend, wine by my side.

Sigh. Without booze. I was considerably harsher in who I was willing to date or even invest time engaging in a conversation with.

Will I Die A (Born-Again) Virgin? 

Hopefully not! In one of our many conversations on the topic of booze and dating #zlotybaby who has now been booze free for over a year said that if she’d given up booze back in her single days she would have probably died a Spinster. And after my latest stint with sobriety I must say I concur.

While I fully aware there are people that manage to get out and date without touching booze and also that there are plenty of fun things to do without the inclusion of alcohol. However, in my experience good first dates (I can only think of a couple of examples that didn’t) involve drinks of some sort. Sure, there is the option of having meeting for coffee and as much as I love coffee I feel it is the stuff of interviews and business meetings not romantic encounters. At the end of the day, if your reasons for not drinking are less superficial than mine then I’d stay stick to your guns, however if you want to give yourself a fighting chance of finding #happilyeverafter I think that sobering up will also narrow your pool quite dramatically.

As for me, well we are already into August and I am yet to touch a drop, and even though I’m actually functioning just fine without it, I honestly don’t feel that sobriety is doing my love life any favours (although it is helping me lose weight way to slowly and saving me a bit of money!). As I said at the start, if there is chemistry it wouldn’t matter so much but unicorns don’t just fall onto your lap while you are sitting at home being  in your PJs (note to self : stop wishing for unicorns, it’ll just end in heartache!). So I need to get out there and play the numbers game more actively and if it is booze that stops me from descending into Spinsterhood, then so be it! Bring me some bubbly!

So Rinsers. Have you ever tried dating without drinking? Has it worked for you? What’s your attitude to others drinking/not drinking on dates? Yay, Nay or couldn’t care less? Do you think not drinking hampers you chances of getting laid?  Or is sober life the way forward? Comments below please and thank you. 

 

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2 comments

  1. This is a topic that I’m so passionate about I had to turn on my desktop PC to read it properly! I found your blog via two articles you ladies had written on booze detoxes and the book you mentioned; I don’t really read relationship blogs but you hooked me! Anyway, I’m always happy to read stuff like this. More people need to take a break and examine how alcohol affects their overall life. Although I am sober, I by no means advocate that everyone be sober nor do I judge people who drink negatively.

    “Anyway, I decided alcohol was the easiest thing to cut out (shoot me, but I’d choose chocolate and ice cream any day!)” After I quit drinking beer I lost 20 pounds almost immediately (within two months). After that, though, I was stuck. I fluctuated with the same three pounds for a year… it was driving me crazy! On a whim, I read the book “Why We Get Fat” by Gary Taubes, who also wrote the book “The Case Against Sugar” which is also great but less accessible as it is more or less a history and science book. Why We Get Fat started a series of events in my life which led me to my current lifestyle of not consuming any added sugar whatsoever and being very conscious of the carbohydrates that I eat. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I’m on a keto diet, because there are days where I just want a cheeseburger, but bread and grains are a treat for me now instead of daily food.

    After giving up sugar I once again lost 20 pounds RAPIDLY. I weighed 200lbs in May and am currently sitting at 178 and still losing. I look healthier than I ever have in my life; my man boobs went from a B-cup to a no-cup and I can see my penis without sucking in my belly for the first time in God knows how long, haha!

    “Some People’s Attitude Towards Booze Is Just Downright Frightening” The situation you described here reminds me that people who drink a lot simply can’t handle the fact that you don’t. It makes them feel (probably correctly) that something is wrong with them, and they don’t like it! Dieting and sobriety are very similar in that regard: when dieting, overweight people with poor diets often tell you that you will fail, your diet isn’t sustainable, and they couldn’t POSSIBLY live without donuts. I empathize; my first few weeks were hell. I had a carb-hangover like you wouldn’t believe. But now, believe it or not (most people choose “not”) I just don’t think about sweets anymore.

    Look, it’s no secret that Americans are addicted to carbs and sugar in a far more unhealthy way than the rest of the world. Spotting a person with a healthy weight in my daily life, especially in my town, is like seeing a unicorn… they’re just so rare these days. It’s sad and scary. However, although this is the American stereotype, I think that the rest of the Western world is catching up quickly. The sugar industry was born in Europe, after all. The reason I’m passionate about this now is that it is realistically SO EASY to change your life for the better once you commit to it.

    I hope I’m not coming off as preachy; I’m not telling you that you specifically need to stop eating sugar or cut on your carbs, just stating my opinion. I do recommend that everyone try a 30 day no-sugar fast and see what the results are. I think they’d be amazed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

    Dieting and sobriety are definitely similar. I once had an actual alcoholic friend (I think I overindulge sometimes but I don’t wake up thinking of alcohol and could easily go weeks without a drink so I won’t call myself an alcoholic – although there have been times when I’ve maybe shown signs of going that way). Anyway, we were good friends for a while and I didn’t have a problem with her not drinking when we were out together and she seemed OK with me drinking. Until one day she suddenly just ghosted me, no news for months. Then suddenly we bumped into each other, she was very apologetic but said he AA coach had told her to cut all ties with drinkers. At the time, I was a bit pissed and thought it was harsh.

    Obviously, my case is a bit different. But I’ve also learned that sometimes if I have bigger goals – like running a marathon, losing weight, progressing in my career…it sometimes means removing people from your life that stand in your way, albeit temporarily. For example, when I trained for my first marathon I was all about early morning training runs. But I was still young and partying, many people didn’t realise why I wanted to be in bed by 10. So eventually I ended up just hanging out with my running club friends.

    It is a bit ruthless I admit but I think sometimes you have to weigh up what is good for you and put yourself first. People will come and go. They might just be about for a season and that’s OK. It doesn’t need to necessarily be a huge drama but I do think it is important to surround yourself with people that support your goals – not just with words, but in terms of understanding your actions too.

    Like

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